Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness...The Saturday Edition

With a certain big event gracing our airwaves, and being witnessed by 2 BILLION people, I definitely wasn't going to wait until Monday to give my critique.  So without further ado, here comes my grades for The Royal Wedding!

The Good....

Was there any doubt that the dazzlingly sister duo would be the best in show?  Modern, stylish, glamorous, I could gush on and on about how beautiful they both look but we'll leave it at pure perfection.  I do have to say that it's only fair that since we appropriate British TV shows to Americanize that Kate took American Grace Kelly's wedding dress and made it her own.

Second runner-up to the gorgeous Middletons is British socialite Tara Palmer-Tomkinson.  The bright blue is eye-catching with a very modern and dramatic flare to the style.  The hat does add a hint of Judy Jetson, but those Brits love their hats, so I can live with it too.

The Bad....

Prince Harry's on/off-again girlfriend Chelsy Davy looks a bit rumpled for the big day.  Perhaps a bit too much partying the night before?  Her hair is a mess, there's no make-up to be seen and the dress is not near dressy enough for the occasion.  The fit is too loose and the color washes her out.  Looking like this will never get her a crown.

The Ugly....

While the Middleton sisters were a stylish powerhouse, Prince Andrew's daughters Eugenie and Beatrice were a fashion faux pas times two.  Eugenie's dress is a psychedelic nightmare that proves why you should say no to drugs.  The hem of the dress looks as if a kindergartner was just learning how to use scissors.  For Beatrice, it's the hat that ruins the look.  The hat looks like a cake topper or perhaps that carnival game where you throw balls through hoops.  And then there's the makeup.  Way too much rouge and didn't the raccoon look go out of style.....years ago?

There you have it, my recap of the big day!  What do you think?  Are there any outfits that stood out to you?  Please sound off below and join me on Monday for our regularly scheduled Fashion Monday.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Follow Friday......

The sun finally shown itself today and I couldn't be happier.  Going to enjoy it and read like gangbusters this weekend.  Next week on my site I'll have special guest author, Mysti Parker, discussing her new book A Ranger's Tale and bringing an extra digital copy for me to give away to one of my visitors.  So mark Wednesday May 4th on your calendar for my special guest.

Friday is the day of the week when we bloggers get together to learn something new about each other by answering a question posted by our wonderful hostess, Parajunkee.  Everyone who visits my blog and decides to become a follower I automatically follow back.  Just let me know you're new here so I make sure to return the following favor.  And now for this week's question...

Q. Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

-The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward (all 9 books)
-Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath

Review for The Last Warrior by Susan Grant

Susan Grant has done it again!  With her latest release she has given readers an exciting, yet highly emotional story, with a dash of sci-fi to it.  Mix it all together and you have a satisfying start to her brand new series entitled The Lost Colony.

General Uhr-Tao is a Tassagon whose people eschew technology thinking it based on magic and therefore dangerous.  He's just returned home triumphant from defeating the Gorr, a bloodthirsty creature reminiscent of the Wolfman.  In his absence King Xim, who's married to Uhr's sister, has segregated another race of people who do all the daily labor for the Tassagons into living in The Ghetto because he fears their more advanced technology that he sees as magic and a threat to his reign.  The Kurel have agreed to the arrangement but the more severe King Xim becomes with his edicts in regards to them, the closer they get to rebellion.  For one Kurel in particular, Elsabeth the tutor to King Xim's children, revenge is personal since his soldiers killed her parents in cold blood for practicing medicine.  As King Xim becomes more paranoid to keep control of his kingdom, the more dangerous it becomes for both Tassagon and Kurel and the line between friends and enemies becomes more blurred.

Uhr-Tao is the perfect hero, sexy and strong.  Through the King's paranoia he goes from hero to traitor in the blink of an eye and ends up hiding in The Ghetto relying on those who fear him for his warmongering ways.  He's left in Elsabeth's care and must learn the ways of the Kurel to remain in their community.  From that moment on a romance is kindled that starts out sweet and slow and builds to a steamy conclusion.  Tao takes his time with Elsabeth and it makes for a very believable and extremely satisfying relationship where they actually talked and got to know one another before joining together.  Tao further endears himself to me by asking to learn to read and knowing he'll be a better man because of it.  And it's just another way to see the attraction between him and Elsabeth where more was said with a look and a touch than any words could possibly convey.

Elsabeth is a wonderful heroine, strong and smart.  She's very curious about the outside world and yearns to know everything about Tao.  Their talks were some of the most touching scenes and showed me just how connected they'd become.  Her anger towards the King was justified but she never let it blind her to the goodness in other Tassagons.  She worked side by side with them for the good of all their people.

King Xim is a complex villain who adores his wife and shows his tender side when in her presence, but is truly villainous towards the Kurel and those he sees as a threat.  He has no loyalty towards those he thinks are after his throne.  His paranoia gets worse as the story progresses and it's being fueled by a vindictive military man, General Beck.  In an attempt to counteract Beck's influence, Tao's friend Markham tries to nudge the King towards doing what's right but it's a constant and subtle battle between Beck and Markham for King Xim's soul.  As the end of the story swiftly draws near, palace intrigue leads to a bloody confrontation where men's true colors come through and the rightful ruler finally ends up on the throne.

There are many exciting secondary characters among both the Tassagons and Kurel that left a lasting impression on me and that I'd love to see more of in future stories.  Outside the walls of the kingdom are even more intriguing races that were also affected by King Xim's rule and I'd like their story to be told as well.

I loved everything about this story!  There was exciting action and well-written characters, both primary and secondary, that made for a story that flowed along beautifully.  The romance was very emotional and moved at a believable pace.  This is a wonderful start to a new series and I can't wait for the next installment.  I give Ms. Grant a big thumbs up for this wonderful story and highly recommend it to others.      

My rating for this is an A+

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review for Just For Kicks by Susan Andersen

Growing up, Wolfgang Jones' family moved from embassy to embassy and he resented the class distinctions each new home brought him.  Now that he's grown up, he has a plan and that is to become the head of security in the private sector in Middle America and marry the perfect woman.  But he doesn't count on becoming entangled in the life of his annoying, yet oh so sexy Showgirl neighbor Carly Jacobsen.  Between her yapping dogs and the nephew who's recently moved in with him though, Wolfgang is forced into spending more time with Carly and the two of them soon embark on a friends with benefits relationship.  The relationship is supposed to end once he gets offered his dream job, but when a stalker threatens Carly's life Wolfgang's plans for the future no longer seem so clear and the woman he once thought inappropriate for him now seems perfect.

This is a reissue of an early Susan Andersen book and the second installment in her Showgirls series.  The first book in the series is Skintight and it's not necessary to have read it to become enthralled by this story.  The characters are likable with believable fears and emotions in a story that flows along beautifully.

Wolfgang Jones is a character that evolves as the story goes along and I became greatly invested in his character seeing the affect Carly has on him and how open he becomes.  He learned at an early age to keep to himself so he wouldn't be hurt and Carly drags him out into the world to get him involved in people's lives.  You can see their love forming early on through these moments in public where he relies on her and she makes sure he's a part of things.  Before long he's relying on her for even more and for a man who's always dealt with things on his own it becomes a subtle declaration of love.

Another large change in Wolfgang's life that brings him out of his shell is his nephew Niklaus moving in.  Niklaus is the teenage version of Wolfgang and it made me cry seeing him give Niklaus the time and attention he should've had as a teen.  Their relationship brings out the tender side of Wolfgang and you can see why Carly falls in love with him.  Niklaus too is an interesting character that a lot of the story revolved around.  I enjoyed his character so much that I'd love to see him as an adult in a story of his own.  Are you listening Ms. Andersen?

Carly is a strong-willed woman who can take care of herself and a character you can't help but root for.  She loves animals, spends time with terminally-ill children, and has lots of wonderfully colorful friends.  She has her own family baggage but has put it behind her and you can tell from the moment she comes on the scene that she's exactly what Wolfgang needs to be happy.  She's a wonderful character who you'd love to know in real life.

The only disappointing aspect of this book, and it's a very small criticism, is that we know the identity of the stalker very early on.  This doesn't at all lessen the enjoyment of the story since this part of the story doesn't play a large part in the overall storyline.  It's merely the moment when Wolfgang finally realizes just how important Carly is to him.  Except for that one small flaw this is a wonderful book with witty dialogue, memorable secondary characters, and is just as enjoyable to read this time around as when it was first released.
My rating for this is an A.
*Book cover photo courtesy of

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review for Twilight Prophecy by Maggie Shayne

This is the 17th book in the Wings of the Night series and focuses on the part-vampire/part-human twins Brigit and James Poe who are the children of a previous book's couple and their unique abilities to give or take life.  For many years James has tried to run from the vampire side of himself while his sister has embraced her existence and gotten stronger.  James acts more like a human except for those times when he's healing terminally-ill children.  Until the day his sister informs him that the existence of their kind is in jeopardy and only the two of them can stop the extinction of their race.  With the reluctant help of Professor Lucy Lanfair, whose job is to decipher the ancient clay tablets foretelling the prophecy, James get drawn into a battle with an ending based on lies and with the love of his life getting caught in the crossfire.

This is the continuation of Maggie Shayne's popular vampire series and the storyline is full of characters from previous books.  In my opinion it's not an absolute necessity that you've read the previous books since the author quickly brings you up-to-date, but it will help in keeping track of who's who and the intricate family lineages if you have read them.  I HAVE read them all and even I had trouble recalling all the characters.

The vampire twins are exact opposites in their abilities and feelings towards mortals.  James sees their goodness and lives among them while Brigit embraces her vampire side by imbibing blood and has no need for mortals.  Due to mortals' reactions to learning of the vampire's existence though, the two of them are forced into doing things they never thought they'd have to do and in the process start seeing others differently.  James has always wanted to discover the purpose for his abilities and is excited by what he believes the prophecy to be and that he'll be the hero.  Brigit's always been the bad seed and doesn't see that changing with the prophecy.  She's a strong heroine who takes charge and is very likable no matter her negative feelings towards mortals.  No matter their differences though they have a strong bond and the two of them are the best parts of the story.

For James, being the hero is important.  Whereas Lucy has always seen herself as a coward from her early childhood when she hid and was the lone survivor of her parent's deadly archaeological dig.  She at first doesn't want to become involved in the vampire's fight and irritatingly is constantly asking to go home.  Even though she's slowly becoming more attracted to James she still doesn't want to be with vampires.  For a large part of the story she believes what the government bad guys, the DPI, say about the vampires.  The romance between her and James doesn't even make any headway until way over halfway through the book.  Because of this, I don't find their romance believable.  Since she has the belladonna antigen in her blood that draws vampires into protecting her, it almost felt like that was more of an affect to their relationship than anything else.  Because I didn't see much growth in her character until the very end I didn't see why he'd be drawn to her otherwise.  With their stagnant relationship this causes certain parts of the story to drag.  The middle part of the book felt especially boring and a bit like filler. 

The end of the story definitely picks up momentum as truths come out and the vampire's lives become more imperiled.  The plan involving their supposed savior turns heroes into villains and villains into heroes and ends on a cliffhanger.  And even though this story was a bit lacking in the romance department and has a few unnecessary chapters, I'm still intrigued enough to want to read the next installment in this intriguing take on the vampire world.  With an exciting cliffhanger and the possibility of Brigit being the heroine of the next book, and a very intriguing and confused man introduced in this book as her possible love interest, I'm definitely on board for the next book in the series.

My rating for this is a B/B-

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Teaser Tuesdays #13

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

ONCE UPON A TIME IN SPACE by Heather Massey 10

She had to find him-the man whose crime against her family would not go unpunished.  His name was so abhorrent to her she hated to think it, let alone say it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness....

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter and is not too tired from all the eggs and chocolate weighing them down to talk about fashion.  So without further ado, here's what the stars wore last week....

The Good....

Halle Berry looks stunning in this brightly colored, form-fitting dress.  The color makes her stand out in the crowd and it drapes her curves beautifully.  She's a stunner from head to toe.

Serena Williams is also dressed for success in an equally stunning purple and curve-hugging dress.  Her hair is modern and sleek and her accessories perfectly compliment this incredible dress.  With the Royal Wedding happening later this week, purple certainly reigns supreme for these two ladies!

The Bad....

Kelly Osbourne's gone a bit too casual with this child-like dress and dated shoe/sock combination that I used to wear in kindergarten.  I had hoped that with all the fashion commentary she does that her wardrobe wouldn't have gotten invaded by the 80's, but how wrong I was.

Beyonce's dress looks to be a cross between a bikini and a drape that's barely attached to her waist.  Between the floral pattern on the dress, shoes, and purse, she looks like a flower garden explosion.  She's definitely not booty-licious in this ensemble.

The Ugly...

Kim Kardashian is again on the naughty list this week wearing this psychedelic nightmare with totally snoozer shoes that's a cross between the Brady Bunch's ugly cousin and Betty Rubble.  The too-severe hairdo doesn't help either and acts as the exclamation point to this dress gone horribly wrong. 

Modern Family's Ariel Winter seems to be taking up a new skating.  Either that, or she's stuck in a time-warp for an 80's prom.  The colors clash and the tulle is way too much....actually, everything is too much.  This dress is everything bad in fashion and is age-inappropriate too boot.  Better luck next time. 

So there you have it, the rich and famous and what they call fashion.  Do you agree with my selections?  Please comment below and let's get the fashion chat started!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review for Any Man of Mine by Rachel Gibson

Autumn Haven has made a nice life for herself and her young son after being left the morning after her quickie Las Vegas wedding to womanizer, and star hockey player, Sam LeClaire.  She thought she had put all the anger and hurt behind her for the sake of her son, but a chance meeting with Sam at the wedding she's in charge of sets them on a new road that she never dreamed possible.  A weekend away with the boys on the anniversary of his sister's death was just what Sam needed to deal with the sadness.  An encounter with an intriguing redhead amongst a sea of nameless women caught him off guard and lead to an act of spontaneity.  His reaction the morning after is one he's felt guilty about for years, but a chance meeting with Autumn gives him the opportunity to make amends.  Will Autumn give him a chance to be the father and husband he now truly wants to be or will old hurts and doubts resurface to keep them apart?

Rachel Gibson's Chinook hockey series just keeps getting better and better!  Each player is unique with their own emotional baggage and oodles of sexiness.  The scenes involving hockey flow beautifully with the storyline and are not overly technical.  They add to the storyline and are enjoyable even to a hockey novice like myself.  The characters are incredibly likable and their feelings regarding the past are believable and totally understandable.  Autumn's a strong woman who's made ends meet on her own terms and not relied on Sam beyond the basics, which makes her admirable to the reader.  She spent years wallowing in anger and betrayal over Sam's actions and his parade of women, but that's not to say she doesn't still find Sam attractive.  She's honest enough to admit the attraction, but doubts his ability to stay for the long term.  Every moment she keeps expecting him to get bored and leave them again and I ached for her having those thoughts in her head all the time.  Her fears are understandable given his history and all the years of her relying only on herself make her hesitancy forgivable.  Sam's a hard man to ignore though and his slow and steady course of winning her back is sweet and sexy and I can understand her caving in.  He had a lot of sadness and guilt that he was dealing with by partying and womanizing when he first met Autumn.  He saw in her someone to save him and heal his pain, but fear of the future led him to make a juvenile decision.  He admits he was cruel and he's embarrassed by what he did.  He's grown up emotionally and is striving to be a better man and father.  I admire his honesty and applaud his finally growing up and shedding his playboy lifestyle.  It's sexy seeing a grown-up Sam.  I also enjoyed his humor and seeing the interactions with his son in trying to win Autumn back.  The fatherly displays definitely add to his sexiness.

Adding to the enjoyment of this book is a set of wonderfully entertaining secondary characters.  The verbal sparring between Autumn's brother Vince and Sam results in some very funny scenes.  The mystery surrounding Vince's career also has me very intrigued and clamoring to read more about him.  Sam and Autumn's son Connor is also enjoyable.  Too many times children can weigh a story down.  Sometimes their speech and actions don't jibe with their age.  But I'm happy to say that Connor is a delightful child.  His speech and thoughts are age appropriate and the schemes he and Sam use to win over Autumn bring humor to the story.  Sam's hockey teammates are a very sexy and colorful bunch too and each one of them deserves a story of their own. 

Ms. Gibson's written a wonderful story about the power of forgiveness.  The dialogue is witty with characters that are like family.  The sex is steamy with scenes perfectly placed throughout the story.  This book was a truly satisfying read and I look forward to many more stories in this incredibly winning series.

My rating for this is A+

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Happy Easter to All.....

I just want to take a moment to wish all my followers and their families, as well as my own family and friends, a very Happy Easter!  May your day be joyous and full of chocolate and hundreds of recipes for how to use boiled eggs. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's Here, It's Here!!!

I've been teasing you with this for a few weeks now and the day has finally arrived.  The new season of Doctor Who is here with Matt Smith at the helm and I couldn't be more excited!  Below is a recap of the Doctor Who universe from the very beginning which started 47 years ago.  So catch up and join in the sci-fi fun tonight on BBC America at 8 pm CST.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Follow Friday....

Another week of rain and cool and cloudy weather has come to an end.  I'm starting to wonder if summer will ever arrive.  Since I need something happier to think about, I'm thrilled that our weekly get together of bloggers known as Follow Friday has arrived.

This is the day of the week where we visit each others blogs and discover the answer to a question posted by our hostess Parajunkee.  For those visiting my site, if you choose to become a follower (which I'd love) I automatically follow back.  Just let me know in your comment.  And now for this week's question.....

Q. What is on your current playlist right now?

-My playlist has music from the Broadway musical Spring Awakening, some old and newer Rick Springfield, Pink, Evanescence, Bad Company, Duran Duran, and more from the world of musical theater with Rent.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review of the Monkey T-Shirt from

It's been awhile since my last product review, so I'm happy to be back with a cute new product that I'm excited to tell you about.

I recently had the opportunity to try out this super cute t-shirt from the online company that have been in business for over 20 years and focuses on custom printing in quantities from 12 to 100,000 from a selection of t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, vests, and workwear to meet all your promotional needs.

This was a wonderful company to work with that dealt with me in a very pleasant manner making sure I ordered the right size.  The company is overseas but I was amazed at how quickly I received the t-shirt.  The t-shirt is 90% cotton so it was soft and not at all scratchy to wear.  The size I ordered was a medium and it fit me very comfortably through the chest and shoulders.  Upon washing, I didn't notice any shrinkage and the monkey decal (which is a promotional design from the company) was still securely attached to the t-shirt.  I've experienced the problem of the decals becoming frayed around the edges with other companies, but not this one which made me love their product even more.

You can contact them through an 800-number to discuss your desired image and the cost of shipping and considering how pleasant my experience was with them, I'm sure you'll end up satisfied.  This was a very knowledgeable company that I'd be happy to work with again.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Tomoson Product review & giveaway Disclosure.

Review for With a Twist by Heather Peters

Ava Denotti thinks her 40th birthday is going to end with just her and a round of drinks celebrating.  But a man from her past comes back into the picture to give her a night she won't soon forget.  She thinks it's a one-night occurrence though since Shane Sullivan isn't the kind of man she thinks would be attracted to her for the long-term.  After all, she's a vastly older woman with a few extra pounds she'd like to forget about and Shane is 13 years younger with tats, a piercing, and a desire to be in control during their romantic interludes.  Just when they start forming a connection that looks to be of the forever kind, will insecurities and self-doubts pull them apart or will they decide that love is love no matter your age? 

This is a fun and sexy read with two very likable characters who have been hurt by love.  Ava's husband left her for a younger woman and that younger woman just happened to be Shane's fiancee.  Both of them were thrown away by people they thought they loved and made to feel lacking which is a strong basis for them to form a relationship.  They both saw only good things in each other and were made to feel more confident in each other's presence.  They'd both just been going through the motions of living until they reconnected and now they've found happiness.

Ava is a woman you can easily relate to with the same insecurities and yet she can be bold too.  She's the owner of a bar with her brother and says what she thinks.  She's a very modern woman and that is easy to admire.  Shane is charming and adventurous and treats Ava like she's the best thing he's ever had in his life.  It's very romantic watching him try to win Ava over and his encounter with their mutual exes brings out the fighter in him that had me rooting for him.  He's the quintessential hero and sexy to boot.

These two do have a small misunderstanding that thankfully doesn't get dragged out.  At the same time, the overall story feels a bit rushed.  These two get together rather quickly and I have to say that I would have enjoyed seeing Shane woo her for a bit longer since he's so good at it.  One thing not lacking is definitely the sexual interludes.  They're steamy, inventive, and take up a lot of the storyline.  In a lot of ways that's a good thing since the scenes were very sexy and showed their intense connection, but it also would have been nice to see them interacting in public to see a different side to their relationship.  This is again a time when word count affects storyline.  I very much liked this story, but it could've been even better with more time being spent on their relationship.  I also want to mention the two secondary characters of Elena, the bartender and Ava's brother AJ.  There's a bit of unrequited love on Elena's part hinted at and considering how much I liked what I saw of AJ, I'd love to read a story revolving around the two of them.  Ms. Peters writes a sexy story in a straightforward way and I would definitely read more from her in the future.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #12

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

INSIDE OUT by Lauren Dane

....from page 16

-She was perfect in her imperfection.  All her features, in and of themselves, were not pretty, but combined, they made her singular, the sort of face that drew the eye.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness....

Hello fashionistas!  We're getting the week off to a rip roaring start by spending the day talking celebrities and their clothes.  We've got some fine, and some not so fine, ensembles to talk about.  So pull up a chair and let's dish as we look at....

The Good....

Dita Von Teese looks timeless in this 60's inspired outfit with the oversized sunglasses.  The shoes and purse give a hint of modernity.  Dita looks cool and stylish and would have no problem walking on to a role on Mad Men and fitting right in.  Kudos on the cool factor!

Emma Roberts looks fun and flirty and ready for summer in this sparkling mini-dress.  The color looks wonderful with her skin tone and those shoes are to die for.  The hair's a bit too severe, but I can forgive the small error when everything else is right on.

The Bad....

Kim Kardashian is doing the Time Warp in this ill-fighting and 80's leftover that is baggy and and bland.  The shoes too are old-fashioned and add to the wrongness of this outfit.  I actually think I recall Rick Springfield wearing something likes this at the first concert I ever attended back in the early 80's, but he looked way better.

Heidi Klum has also gone with an unfortunately bad jumpsuit.  From the baby poop coloring to the poorly hemmed pant legs Heidi looks anything but model-like.  Add in the Shakespearean collar and perhaps the designers on the next season of Project Runway could make her something better....anything would be better. 

The Ugly....

Singer Kelis looks as if a Crayola box exploded on her or her stylist is ten years old.  This ensemble manages to look both dated and infantile at the same time.  And can someone please explain what those pink things are on her ankles?  They look like Beanie Babies to me.

Bai Ling always comes dressed for attention....too bad that attention is always bad.  The style of this dress is way over-the-top and the flying saucers--or records--on her hips are definitely making a fashion statement.  And that statement is....I need a new stylist.

So there you have it.  This is what the stars wore this last week.  What do you think of these ensembles?  Do you want these outfits in your wardrobe?  Sound off below and let's get the fun started.  Come back next week for another session of Fashion Monday Madness.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Countdown Begins....

As I've mentioned before, I'm a HUGE Doctor Who fan and one week from today a new season begins.  Woo-Hoo!  So to whet our appetites, here's another extended trailer for what's coming up for season 6...

I'm so very excited for the new season and am happy there will be more River Song since she's an awesome heroine.  Matt Smith is definitely getting comfortable playing the Doctor and I'm quite enjoying him.  He's no David Tennant, but then who is.  His two companions, Amy Pond and Rory are entertaining and their being married adds an interesting dynamic.  So let's get the countdown rolling.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Follow Friday.....

It's that time again.  The end of the week where we get comfy and get to know our fellow bloggers better by answering a question posted by our hostess Parajunkee.  So without further ado.....

This week's question is...

Q. Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

-The person I talk with books about mostly is my friend of over twenty years, Kay.  Met her in college and we have very similar tastes in genre and authors.  We're both obsessed with the series of JR Ward's BDB, Kressley Cole's IAD, and Charlaine Harris' Southern Vampire (Sookie) books.  We share the cost of hardbacks and every conversation we have leads to talk about books.

Thanks to everyone for visiting my site!  Anyone who's new to my blog, I'd love for you to become a follower.  I always follow back.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review for The Pleasure Garden anthology

The Pleasure Garden is an intriguing anthology with three stories from different time periods, but all revolving around the myth of the Winter Queen and her forbidden love for the Green Man which ends in tragedy.  The cuckolded King sees the Green Man turned to stone which leads the Queen to kill herself.  While the two lovers were together the garden bloomed, but upon the loss of their love the garden dies.  To bring the curse to an end, the Green Man must bring three lovers together which will allow him to join his true love.

The first story is Sacred Vows by Amanda McIntyre and involves Gaelic lass Cara falling suddenly in love with Edmund, who's soon to take his religious vows.  Their love is forbidden by law, but he swears to come back by morning and marry her.  Lies perpetuated by his supposed best friend lead Edmund to being forced to take his vows or face treason.  Cara's life too takes an unhappy turn and a marriage proposal she believes to be her saving grace soon turns dangerous and she must put her faith in Edmund one last time to save her family.  Will he abandon her again when she needs him most or will he come through this time and finally become the family he once promised.

This is a very emotional story where the heroine goes through many more hardships than the hero.  Cara gets left behind to pay the price of their transgression.  She deals with it in a mature manner and with a strength in character.  She's the more realistic of the two when it comes to society's hatred and the consequences of that and deals with it as best she can.  Edmund's lived a sheltered life and is very naive to the badness in people and it led him to trusting the wrong people and ruined not only his life, but others too.  I found him to be weak and a tad unlikable for his weakness.  Cara definitely deserved better after everything she went through.  The villain of this story is definitely worthy of the title and I was wholeheartedly rooting for him to get his comeuppance.  The ending was a bit forced and not the most fulfilling in my opinion, but again that's mostly due to my disappointment in Edmund's character.  My rating for this story is a B.

The second story is Perfumed Pleasures by Charlotte Featherstone and involves injured soldier Joscelyn Mallory who returns home from war burned and blind in one eye.  The only thing that got him through the pain of his recovery were images of his one true love Catherine Tate, who happens to be betrothed to his cousin Edward.  Edward is lecherous and cruel and sees Catherine as a possession he bought since he owns all her father's gambling vows.  Joscelyn loves her though and doesn't want her pity so he renews their love in darkness at first.  She's soon forced to choose between her happiness or the protection of her family, when an unlikely savior gives Joscelyn the key to assuring his and Catherine's happiness if she just believes in him.

This was my favorite story of all of them.  It revolves around my favorite storyline of Beauty and the Beast and has a scarred but very sexy hero who I immediately fell in love with after all the hardships he'd been through.  He's a wonderfully well-written character.  Catherine is a likable character put into a seemingly inescapable situation, which was unfortunately all too common for women in that time.  They were bought and sold.  I admired her moments of defiance against Edward, a truly vile villain who knew he was a lesser man than Joscelyn.  Catherine and Joscelyn were a truly romantic couple whose romantic interludes were extremely steamy.  I was rooting for them every step of the way and will re-read this story every chance I get.  My rating for this is an A.

The final story is Rites of Passion by Kristi Astor and focuses on war widow Emmaline Gage as she adjusts to living in the home she believes her husband's family has bequeathed to her.  She believes there are spirits associated with the home's garden and those spirits lead her to feeling amorous whenever she's in the garden.  The night of the May Day bonfire soon brings a new man into her life.  The man is Jack Wainscott and he's come to inform her that his side of the family actually owns the house and she must leave.  But after dropping that bombshell he becomes extremely ill and she's forced into nursing him back to health when the two of them are quarantined out of fear of his illness spreading.  During Jack's recovery, romance blooms between him and Emmaline and while he's thinking of a future for them together, she's scared to give her heart away again.  She doesn't think their love is real since it came about so quickly, nor does she think she's mourned her dead husband long enough.  As their relationship has ups-and-downs so too does the garden.  When her and Jack are together it blossoms, but when he leaves the garden dies out again.  Will Emmaline finally swallow her pride and take a chance on love again?

This was an enjoyable story featuring two people damaged by events during the war which forms a strong bond between the two of them.  Emmaline's feelings regarding her dead husband are understandable and I love Jack for giving her the space she needed to discover what she really wanted.  She's a strong woman and no matter what will always land on her feet.  Jack was playful and sexy and the perfect prescription to bring happiness back to Emmaline's life.  Their sexual encounters were sexy, and in regards to their scenes in the garden, rather unexpected.  I liked how this final story brought in the original myth and gave blatant examples of the lover's affects on the garden.  It was a nice way to wrap things up and did bring a definitive conclusion to the Green Man and his lost love.  My rating for this is a B+.

On a whole this was a very good anthology.  All the stories were well-written with mostly likable characters and I definitely recommend you reading it.  
In its entirety I give The Pleasure Garden a B+.

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Monday, April 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays #11

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


....from page 231

The plan had been to introduce Tao to her world, not the other way around, but she was learning about his life.  About him.  She'd tasted what she'd never imagined.  And wanted more.

Fashion Monday Madness......

Another week has passed and I've spent the day looking for some celebrity fashions I'm sure will generate some discussions.  So please join me for.....

The Good....

Taylor Swift looks stunning in this creamy gold gown.  The color of her dress goes perfectly with her skin tone and the hair and make-up only add to the chic look.  She looks mature, but definitely not old.  A big round of applause for this gorgeous ensemble.

I'm not normally a fan of Renee Zellweger's style, but I'm very impressed by this red trench coat dress and awesome bag and shoes that compliment the red coloring perfectly.  She looks flirty and fun and quite the stylish spy.

The Bad....

The saying goes...June is busting out all over, but in this case it's Tori Spelling.  The top half of this dress is a bit too revealing and the rest of the dress has way too much going on.  To add to this over-the-top ensemble is the overly curly hair that taken as a whole makes her look like a tassel.

Nicole Kidman has gotten into the way back machine and found this ensemble that carries the stench of the eighties with it.  From the leather dress that brings forth images of Sandy from Grease to the fur shrug that PETA might frown upon I'm left disappointed in her fashion choice again this week.  I think I'll picture Keith Urban instead to wipe this sad outfit from my memory.

The Ugly....

Kim Kardashian has also decided to revisit the past in this black jumpsuit inspired outfit that's extremely ill-fighting and not at all figure flattering.  Add to that the Dynasty-inspired shoulder pads and you have a recipe for disaster.

Former Spice Girl Mel B looks to be channeling all the Spice Girls at once in this overly busy dress that makes me think of a quilt pieced together using scraps of old clothing.  Not only that, but I think she needs to cut down on the bronzer and highlights in her hair.

So there you have it.  The best of the best and the worst of the worst.  What do you think?  Agree, disagree, sound off below.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review for Her Heart's Divide by Kathleen Dienne

This is a very intriguing threesome story with a sci-fi twist.  The story involves married couple Ryan and Lila and their mutual boss Jack, who Lila was once attracted to, and asks the question "What if one moment went differently and what would be the effect?".  After an abrupt start to the story, Jack comes home after having a car accident, to see his wife and is shocked by what he discovers.  For the home he comes to isn't his and the wife waiting is Lila, who Jack discovers has been married to Ryan for seven years.  Everyone thinks his memory issues are because of the car accident but he's adamant about the life he and Lila created which started at a Christmas work party where he says they hooked up and she says nothing happened.  It gets Lila thinking about what might have been and after catching Jack watching her and Ryan during romantic interludes she's even more conflicted about the attraction and excitement she feels towards Jack.  Jack's wife Allison, the one Ryan and Lila know, soon arrives from her spiritual retreat to explain what happened and tells them how to put things right which leaves them 24 hours to give into the attraction they feel and discover "what if".

This story poses an intriguing hypothesis and I admire the creativity of the author for coming up with a storyline that's new to me.  This is a quick read with a few very steamy interludes that started rather abruptly and ended a bit abruptly as well.  I found the characters enjoyable with only a bit of irritation towards Ryan who didn't seem at all skeptical of Jack's story.  He easily accepted the idea of alternate realities and encouraged Lila to indulge in a threesome since he could tell how excited the idea made her.  I don't think most people would believe so easily or be that accepting of sharing your wife with your boss.  Allison too is an odd character who believes in magic and healing spells and through her doubts about Jack's love for her caused all this to happen.  We barely see her and her character is very much on the periphery.  Since I liked the idea of this story so much I'd actually like to see a sequel from the alternate reality version of Allison.  I'd like to get to know her character more fully and discover if she found the answers she sought by enacting her spell.

Jack and Lila are the most intriguing and display the most realistic emotions.  They're both freaked out by what's happened and the story is really about them and their "what if".  There's also another question being asked that if you knew there would be no guilt or recriminations would you give into your fantasy.  It's yet another interesting hypothesis in this thought-provoking and sexy story.  This was a very enjoyable read and the author did a very good job at balancing the science fiction and romance of the storyline and I'm excited by what this author next publishes.

My rating for this is a A-

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Friday, April 8, 2011

An Awesome Book Freebie!

One of my favorite books I've recently read (my review will be up soon) is Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning.

It's the first book in a sexy rock-n-roll series and is available for free for a limited time.  The second book is currently out so now's the perfect time to start from the beginning.

-For those with a Kindle go here
-For Nook users go here
-For Sony users go here

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Follow Friday.....

Another week has come to an end.  Nothing too exciting to report except that I'm FINALLY going to read the new BDB installment this weekend.  Had other commitments first, but now it's me time.  It's now on to that time of the week where we bloggers get to know each other better by answering a question posted by our wonderful hostess Parajunkee.  Without further ado, it's now time for.....

The question for this week is....

Do you judge a book by it's cover?

-Yes, I do somewhat.  If the cover conveys a storyline I love (like rock stars) then I'm definitely more likely to buy it.  Bright colors or sexy heroes with rippling abs all by themselves are covers I'm also drawn to.  JR Ward's covers for her BDB series are my favorite covers and I get giddy waiting to see what the next one will look like.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Review for Savage Sanctuary by Jacqueline Barbary

This is a very quick paranormal read that focuses on the world of shifters, those protecting them, and those who experimented on them and hunt them still.  This particular book is of the m/m genre and focuses on Robert Hamilton-Scott who has opened up his home as a sanctuary for those shifters hiding from the government.  He's a part of the resistance, a quiet part though since he's a shifter himself.  He dyes his hair since shifters have very distinctive hair coloring and keeps to himself out of fear of being discovered.  It's a quiet life until the day the resistance brings Michael O'Dare to recover at Robert's mansion.  He was experimented on by the government and forced to shift which has now left him more animal-like than human.  Robert sees the man inside though and helps him learn to be Centered like him so he regains his humanity.  There's still many obstacles to overcome in their relationship with many dangerous moments when the resistance goes against the government to free more shifters and hidden truths come out in the open.

Since this story was so short the emotional connection between Michael and Robert felt a bit rushed and a tad superficial at first.  It had the feel of love-at-first-sight which makes you question the longevity of their relationship, but the two of them go through so many life-threatening and highly emotional incidents that their bond does become a bit more believable.  And they both bring very unique qualities, unique life views, to their relationship that again made their bond realistic.  Michael clearly was the more experienced of the two, but he never made Robert feel naive nor did he act overtly dominant in their sexual relationship.  The sexual interludes between the two were nicely written and did not take over the story.  I liked seeing them as a couple, but wish more time could have been invested in developing their relationship.

Another casualty due to the shortness of the story was the world-building.  I'm definitely intrigued by these shifters, but I wanted to have a clearer image of the shifter's lives and the government's reasons for harming them.  It's a world that is interesting with a lot of possibilities that I'd like to see the author expand upon.

This story wasn't perfect, but it's a good start that if the author continues to write about will definitely have me as a reader.  This book would have gotten a higher rating from me had things been expanded upon, but the shortness of it made me feel cheated.  I wanted to know more and feel more invested in this couple's relationship but the shortness of the story didn't allow for that.  Given a longer book length I feel this author can create a very good book since this story was a nice start.

My rating for this is a C.

*I received this from NetGalley for reviewing purposes.

*Book cover photo courtesy of

Teaser Tuesdays #10.......

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

JUST FOR KICKS by Susan Andersen

....from page 10

"He's stubborn, opinionated and just won't listen."

"A typical male, in other words."

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fashion Monday Madness......

After a few week's hiatus due to unforeseen medical circumstances, I'm back and can't wait for us to discuss this week's fashion choices.  The theme for this week is definitely leaning towards a black and white motif with a splash of color and covers what the stars wore over the past week.  Without further ado, let's look at.....

The Good....

Jennifer Hudson looks stylish and svelte in this classic LBD (little black dress) with a twist.  I love the zigzag pattern that makes the style unique and yet the color choice that makes it classic, great combination and super great fit.  She's been looking so amazing lately!

Kristen Bell looks sparkly and stylish in this fun little dress that's a bit retro and a lot flirty.  There's just the right amount of sparkles to keep this eye-catching and yet tasteful and the simplicity of the design is wonderful as well.  The hair looks amazing too, so sleek and shiny!

The Bad....

Carrie Underwood looks all sorts of confused in this dress that's bland in color and over-the-top with embellishments.  The tan coloring blends into her skin tone to make her look washed out and the ruffles and sea creature(?) covering her lower half are overpowering.  Although the film she's promoting does have to do with the ocean, so maybe she meant to look like a sandy beach in motion.

Katie Holmes has been looking more and more drab as her daughter continues to be the stylish one in the family.  Perhaps Suri will let mommy borrow her stylist?  From head to toe this outfit is ill-fitting and completely dated and I wonder how far back in the closet she had to reach to find this mess of an outfit.  Although if she needs a day job, she's already got the perfect ensemble for being a waiter.

The Ugly....

Actress Diane Kruger looks to be channeling the Amish in this drab and bulky dress that does not age her gracefully.  The hair too adds to the milkmaid look and I think it's time to go back to the farm and take this boring dress with her.

Blake Lively is channeling the 80's in this drab and poofy dress to promote the movie The Green Lantern.  Too bad the superhero couldn't save her from this retro look gone wrong!  The top part of the dress looks saggy, with a bodice reminiscent of Madonna's cone bra (without the pointiness of course!).  The skirt is way too short and one good twirl will cause a major flashing to occur.  Time to put this dress back in the closet for good and join us in the 21st century.

So there you have it, the wardrobe choices of the rich and famous for this week!  Sound off below on how you feel about the outfits above and let's get the lively debate going!